PATTANI, Thailand (AP) — Police say a Thai teacher was shot dead while having lunch at his school’s cafeteria, the first death of an educator this year in Thailand’s violence-wracked south.
Police Col. Pakdee Preechachon said Wednesday that 51-year-old Chonlathee Charoenchon was killed by gunmen at Ban Tanyong School in Bacho district in Narathiwat province.
Pakdee said four gunmen entered the school’s compound on two motorcycles, and one of them took the teacher’s car after having shot him.
Nearly 160 school personnel have been killed since an Islamist insurgency first flared in Thailand’s three southernmost provinces in 2004.
A total of more than 5,000 people have been killed in the Muslim-dominated sub-region.
Teachers and security officials have been targeted by the insurgents, whose apparent goal is a separate state from the predominantly Buddhist country.